May 24, 2011

Summer Fashion: Linen Blouses

1) J. Jill has a huge selection of linen blouses, soft, fine, well shaped, and fairly inexpensive.  They are all in pastels, which is not really my style, but I have been coveting their simple white linen blouse for ages.  Also comes in petite and womens sizes. ($59)

2) There are millions of parodies over the obsessive nature of J. Crew fans, and I have been known to roll my eyes time and again at the over-the-top fawning everytime J. Crew releases a catalog.  To the design world, Jenna-whatever-her-name-is is a tastemaker goddess.  And this is simply ridiculous.  One thing is certain, however: J. Crew makes a wicked linen blouse, in gorgeous colors.  And Jenna does know how to style them. ($79, pictured above.)

3) Most people, I think, dry clean their linen--but I always wash it in the machine.  Its a natural fiber, after all! But I am sure that my linen is probably not in great shape because I do wash it.  So I love Lands' End's linen blouses and tunics, which are made of a softly faded linen fabric that is supposed to be put in the washer.  I love their short sleeve camp shirt best of all. ($39.50)

4) Department stores like Macy's and Nordstrom's are both really good places to find elegant linen blouses, as most designers carry linen blouses in their department store brands (like Lauren for Ralph Lauren).  Sometimes you'll be lucky enough to find a really great printed blouse--once i found a Michael Kors linen blouse with zebra print in a dusty gold, and I didn't buy it.  I still regret it almost daily.  So far, I haven't come across many printed linen blouses; the only one I like is this two-tone ikat, from Nordstrom ($69).

5) In the non-button'n'collar style I love this smocked blouse from Banana Republic ($59), and this gorgeous caftan from Boden (silk/linen, $118), and this lightweight printed tunic from Old Navy ($12+).

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